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Summer Bloggin’

Summer is here (well, most of the time – it is England after all), the bees are buzzing, the days are long… things are starting to feel a bit more normal. Breathe in, breathe out, and take a look at this months’ offerings.

Sometimes you make something and you think “This is the best thing ever!! Everyone will love these! I will make looooooads!” That’s what happened with these origami and resin necklaces. Each animal is folded from a small square of colourful origami paper, then set in resin. They’ve been placed on a pendant with a white background, so they stand out whatever you’re wearing. Guys, I hold my hand up; I may have gone overboard and made too many! So, I’m having a clear out and they’re available from my Etsy shop at 25% off, making them a bargainous £12 – they’ll then settle at £14 if there are any left over. Get ’em before they’re gone!

Getting out in nature is so good for us; it’s great for mental health and general wellbeing. It can also be a wonderful source of inspiration. Get yourself outside into a green space, breathe deep, and take some time to look around you – really look around, taking time to notice the small things; the big things; the different greens; the splashes of colour… you could even take a notebook to sketch or write.

We all know we need to be using less plastic and to start cutting out single-use plastics altogether. But where do you start? It can seem really overwhelming… so having a shop like Food For Thought is fantastic! Run by the lovely Kerry, this zero waste shop is based in Nene Court, Wellingborough (where else, right?). Head to the website for tips on reducing & reusing, plus a stock list of all the things you can refill there. If you’re not local to Northamptonshire, it’s worth taking a look to check for similar shops in your local area. Start by aiming to swap one thing a month and take it from there.

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Tutorial: Upcycled paper bags

I’ve made gift bags similar to this from old sheet music, but they are great made from old magazines. 

You can easily make this simple upcycled version yourself, all you need is an old magazine page and some tape. If you’re after something fancier, you can use any nice sheet of paper you like (A4 works well) and instead of taping, overlap the edges slightly and glue them down for a neat finish.

 

  • Lay your page out landscape
  • Fold one side in to the middle (you needn’t be exact) and run your thumb over the fold to crease well.
  • Fold in the other edge so that it meets the first one.
  • Tape it up, right the way from top to bottom (or overlap slightly and glue).
  • Fold up the bottom – roughly a quarter, but again, it needn’t be exact.
  • Open up the bottom section you’ve just folded over…
  • …then squash each corner down in turn, so they make triangles.
  • Fold the edges of the bottom section to meet each other in the middle.
  • Tape it up! Again, you can overlap slightly and glue at this point- just make sure you’ve glued the edges well, as this forms the bottom of the bag.
  • Ta da! Done! Stick your hand in (carefully) to open it out; the bottom should make a nice flat base.

Once you get going, they’re really quick to make. They make great bags for small gifts instead of using wrapping paper; they look so colourful!

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Origami heart tutorial

This origami heart is simple to fold, so it’s a good model for beginners. Use them to decorate handmade cards or gift tags.

  • Lay your square of paper so it’s like a diamond.
  • Fold in half, point to point, crease and unfold.
  • Do the same again, folding in half the other way.
  • You’ll be left with vertical and horizontal lines running from corner to opposite corner.
  • Fold the top corner down to meet the central crease where the lines cross.
  • Take the bottom corner and fold up so it meets the flat top edge (made in the last step).
  • One side at a time, fold the outer corners up, so the bottom edge meets the central crease (the corner point will now be at the top).
  • You should now have a rough heart shape.
  • Turn the model over and fold in the 4 top points very slightly, to create a more rounded heart shape.
  • Crease these well so they stay in place and turn the model back over.
  • You’re done!
Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

New week, new skills: Origami butterfly tutorial

This pretty origami butterfly doesn’t have many steps to it, but it can be quite tricky to get right first time. This picture tutorial will guide you through the process.

 

  • First of all, you’ll be creasing some guideline folds. Start with the square of paper sat so it looks like a diamond.
  • Fold in half top to bottom (point to point), crease and unfold; then do the same in the other direction, folding one side point to the other then opening up.
  • Turn the paper over and position it so it’s square in front of you.
  • You’ll be folding the paper in half again, top to bottom then side to side, creasing and opening back up each time.
  • With the creases you’ve made, the square should collapse down into a triangle. Pick the paper up.
  • You can see that the horizontal crease is going down, while the diagonal ones are popping up; just encourage this to happen! The centre should come up in a point while the sides fold in on themselves
  • Lay this triangle down so the long edge is at the top and go over the creases.
  • Working with the top layer only, take each of the top corner points and fold the down to meet the bottom point in the middle. Crease these folds well, then turn the model over.
  • See that point at the bottom? The top layer? You need to bring that up towards the middle of the top edge, so it overlaps a bit.
  • The two flaps underneath will pull round a bit; that’s fine, just let them come along. It’ll probably be easier if you pick the model up now. So, take that bottom point up past the top edge a little and fold it over, turning the whole thing over again at the end and firmly crease the fold so it stays in place. (You may find you need a spot of glue to keep that last fold in place.)
  • All that’s left to do is fold the wings up. You’ll sort of be folding it in half, which may feel a little odd, but once you’ve got going you should see how it’ll bring the wings up to stand out. Push down in the middle with one finger and bring the wings up on either side, pressing that middle bit together.

That’s it! The more you fold this butterfly, the easier it will become.

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial Weddings

2018: Workshops & Wedding Fairs

Happy 2018! I hope you all had a fantastic festive season. I certainly did; despite being thwarted by the weather a couple of times, we managed to get all the family visits in.

For the past week I’ve been getting The Craft Fantastic HQ sorted for the year ahead, plus writing lots of lovely lists and plans. So, what will I be up to? Well, this year, along with maintaining my etsy shop, I’ll be focusing on weddings.

Large origami bouquet
Turquoise & music paper bouquet – £45

I’ve got 3 wedding fairs lined up for all you brides and grooms looking for something a bit different for your wedding flowers:

  • Abington Park Museum (NN1 5LW), Sunday March 4th, 11:00 – 14:00. This beautiful building has only quite recently been licensed for marriages, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look.
  • Grendon Lakes (NN7 1JW), Sunday April 15th, 11:00 – 14:00. A fabulous marquee wedding fair in a gorgeous setting.
  • Rock Your Wedding Fair, Old White Hart (NN4 8BS), Sunday May 20th, 11:00 – 15:00. Northampton’s first alternative wedding fair! I cannot WAIT for this one.

If you’re looking to book wedding flowers for this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to go through options and prices; I know how expensive weddings can be and try to offer something to suit every budget. Email me at ahoythere@thecraftfantastic.co.uk or use the form on the contact page.

Alongside weddings, I’ll be doing some craft workshops. This is something I’ve been planning for a while and have done a couple of test runs on small groups to see what works and what doesn’t. I can offer simple, mess-free paper folding or something more full-on involving pots of glue!

Happy workers!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be running a papercraft and origami workshop at the lovely Bay Tree Cottage in Towcester, Northamptonshire. This will be a full-on evening, where you’ll get to try your hand at a few different things, including gift tags, coasters and flowers. This is an evening class and includes a light supper. It will be held on Wednesday May 2nd – find all the details you need to book here.

If you’d like to book me for a workshop at your event space, please email me for details – ahoythere@thecraftfantastic.co.uk.

 

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Weddings

christmas Christmas CHRISTMAS! The run-down to the run-up.

Well, that’s it for another year in terms of fairs. I’ve now attended the last of the craft and wedding events for 2017. However, I’ve already got things in the pipeline for 2018, including alternative wedding fairs and papercraft workshops – watch this blog for details! You can also follow me on Facebook for up to date info on future events.

Right now I’m winding things down a bit. My Etsy shop is fully stocked with a wide array of notebooks & journals, book necklaces, and handmade Christmas decorations so it’s time to wind down a bit, look back over the past year and sort things out in readiness for the year ahead.

I count 2017 as my first full year of business aboard The Craft Fantastic. While I set up properly at the start of 2016, that year was spent getting things off the ground. I’ve been really pleased with how the year has gone, taking bookings for an awesome range of weddings, producing custom orders, developing new product ideas and taking part in local craft and wedding fairs. Phew! I’m so grateful to everyone who’s supported me this year and for every single purchase, no matter how small.

During the run up to Christmas I am of course still taking orders via Etsy but you can also contact me here for queries on wedding flowers and custom orders. My last UK posting date is December 18th; if you order after this date, your order will still be processed, but it might not make it before Christmas.

To finish off, here are a few of my favourite makes from 2017!

Categories
Craft Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Wanderlust: make an adventure to remember

Summertime is upon us and the world is calling. Whether you’re taking off for far off places or exploring closer to home, why not chronicle your adventure in a handy handmade travel journal? Blank books are fantastic for planning your holiday, making check lists for what to take and where to go, plus you can take as much space as needed to write about your travels. I love looking back over my old holidays and the check list I write helps me remember what I need to take on the next trip 😀

Over at The Craft Fantastic’s Etsy store you’ll find a wide variety of hand bound blank notebooks for all your journaling needs. Here are some map cover books to help inspire your wanderlust:

Ready for an adventure – A5 – £14

Ready for an adventure – A6 – £9

Off we go – A5 – £14

There’s also a range of miniature books– they’re set on chains to wear as a necklace, so you can easily take it with you on your travels. All the pages are blank, too, so it can be used for jotting down a few things while you’re on the go. Small writing required 😀

*First wedding anniversary = paper! These items make great gift ideas. For more inspiration, take a look at this article from The Wedding Secret.*

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Origami Samurai helmet tutorial

 

The first origami I remember seeing was something my mum folded. She’d been going to Japanese classes in the evenings and brought me back a gold paper samurai helmet one time. I kept it for ages; in fact it’s probably still around somewhere.

It’s something that’s really simple and fun to fold – plus you can use them as page markers! Here’s a set of pictures to help you fold your own.

  • Start with a square of paper (main colour/pattern-side face down)
  • Fold in half bottom to top.
  • One at a time, bring the side points down to meet the bottom corner, creasing each one well after you’ve folded it.
  • Next, fold each of the top layers in half, taking the points you’ve just folded down up to meet the top.
  • Fold, crease and unfold each of these top layers in half (you’re making a guide line for the next fold.)
  • See the crease you made in the last step? Fold each of the top of the front layers so the edge lines up with the crease and smooth down firmly.
  • Now it’s taking shape! Nearly done! Going to the bottom corner, take the front layer only and fold it up.
  • Then fold the bottom of this layer upwards to form the base of the helmet. Crease these new folds well.
  • Last step! Take the remaining bottom layer, folding in half (taking the bottom corner up to the top) and pressing the fold firmly – then tuck this layer inside the helmet. Ta da!
Categories
Craft Craft fairs Origami Paper Weddings

Wedding Season 2017

Wedding season 2017 is in full swing! The Craft Fantastic HQ is full of origami bouquets and paper flowers. I’ve been hard at work over the last couple of months finishing orders – and I’m still going! This is my first full year doing weddings and I’m loving it; my brides are really creative and it’s so much fun putting together their perfect flowers for the big day. Here are some sneak peeks!

 

I’m pretty much fully booked for summer 2017 – just taking small commissions – but there are spaces for autumn/winter and of course 2018! You can find The Craft Fantastic at the upcoming wedding fair at the Double Tree Hotel, Stadium MK.

 

If you’re not sure whether paper flowers are for you, this will give you a chance to take a look at the bouquets in real life. You’ll be able to try out the different sizes, view the matching buttonhole options and see what you think of the new range of headdresses. There’ll be pomanders and wands for flower girls, small posies and large bunches, table decorations and garlands.

As always, I’ll have a range of hand bound guest books to choose from, all of which can be personalised. There’ll be a good selection that can be purchased on the day.

Hopefully I’ll see you at the Milton Keynes Wedding Show, Sunday 2nd July!

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Weddings

Origami floral headdresses

Origami flower crown

NEW RANGE ALERT! Just in time for both wedding season and festival season, The Craft Fantastic is pleased to announce the launch of handmade origami floral headdresses, flower crowns, headpieces, head wraps – call them what you will, they’re all gorgeous! Perfect for brides or bridesmaids, festivals or garden parties. Each one is handmade from different paper and attached to a wire base, which is covered in floral tape. They come either with a ribbon tie at the back, or the wire ends can simply be wound together to fasten.

There are a few made up and ready to ship over on etsy (see pictures below) but I can make up custom orders to your specifications. Basically, start with a base unit and decide what flowers, leaves, feathers etc. you want! Here’s a run-down on the prices:

Base unit (with or without ribbon) = £2

Origami flower = £2 (including gem/bead in centre)

Leaf/feather = £0.50

So for example, a headdress with a cluster of 3 flowers and a feather will be £8.50.

I have a wide range of different papers in stock, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like something particular. I have an abundance of music paper and book paper, a lot of pastels, and quite a few sheets of various patterned origami paper.